By Holland Cooke
“If we were just-now carving Mount Rushmore, which 4 presidents would you choose?”
The monument, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, took 14 years to carve (October 4, 1927 – October 31, 1941). And it was never actually finished. The plan was to show the presidents from head-to-waist, but the project ran out of money.
Left-to-right, the 60-foot heads are:
- George Washington,(1st president) led the early colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy. Because of his importance, Washington is the most prominent figure on the mountain.
- Thomas Jefferson,(3rd president) he was the author of the Declaration of Independence, a document which inspires democracies around the world. He also purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 which doubled the size of our country, adding all or part of fifteen present-day states.
- Theodore Roosevelt,(26th president) provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the “trust buster” for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man.
- Abraham Lincoln,(16th president) held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. It was his firm conviction that slavery must be abolished.
Ask: YOUR most-monumental presidents?
Presidents post-Theodore Roosevelt until carving commenced:
- William H. Taft
- Woodrow Wilson
- Warren G. Harding
- Calvin Coolidge
Presidents since then:
- Herbert Hoover
- Harry Truman
- Dwight Eisenhower
- Richard Nixon
- Gerald Ford
- Jimmy Carter
- Ronald Reagan
- George Bush Sr.
- Bill Clinton
- George Bush Jr.
- Barack Obama
- Donald Trump
Holland Cooke (hollandcooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; he is the author of “Holland Cooke Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America. Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke